"dream great dreams and find the courage to live them"

-erwin mcmanus

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

moving on.

"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."

These words are all too true.

Sunday, March 6th of 2011, I arrived at Shelterwood in Independence, Missouri with wide eyes and without a clue.  I could not even fathom what the next 15 months would hold.  I have fallen in love with these girls and this place, my coworkers and my friends.  I have broken up fights, mediated countless conflicts, and given consequences for everything from cussing out staff members to pooping in trash cans.  I have taken girls out for ice cream, gone to concerts, painted pottery, had photo shoots, and stuffed a dryer and a lounge chair in the back of a van.  I have run through the woods searching for runaways, walked alongside the highway after them, and I have taken girls to the emergency room.  I have cried with them under their beds and laughed with them until we could no longer stand; I've been so frustrated with them that I've had to walk away and have felt profound joy by their presence in my life.  Their choices are sometimes crushing, but the victories are then celebrated all the more.

And with those victories, and even the steps backwards, came growth.  It resulted in the restoration of families; of girls coming closer to the Lord.  It was all worth it.

But, as the cheesy phrase goes: "All good things must come to an end."
This is mine.

July 1st will be my last day working at Shelterwood.
God has graciously and obviously, without my pursuit, opened a door for me at Mercy Ministries in St. Louis as a Weekend Residential Assistant.
I am excited.

And I am sad.
Sad at the thought of leaving so many things that I love.
Yet I anticipate the newness.

St. Louis will be new.  My schedule will be vastly different.  My roots will have to start growing again.  My friends will be non-existent.  And my work will be another challenge, but a more stable one.

Mercy Ministries has been on my radar for years now, brought to my attention by a girl I knew who was at her bitterly broken end.  She applied to be a resident at Mercy and has come out completely healed, restored, and in right relationship with God and others.  In fact, she is getting married this summer (congrats, Mandie!).  Seeing her healed, and others I have met since then, I knew I wanted to be a part of that ministry.  Here that dream comes true.

And every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.